For the Temple from Heirloom Audio was adapted by the book of the same name by G.A. Henty. George Alfred Henty is best known for his many historical adventure stories that were written in the late 1800's. Heirloom Audio brings these wonderful stories to life with an outstanding cast, wonderful sound effects, and beautiful music, making the listener feel as though they are living the adventure. It stars familiar names such as: Brian Blessed (Star Wars, Tarzan), Chris Larkin (Master and Commander, Valkyrie), Jolyon Coy (Beauty and the Beast), Julian Rhind Tutt (Oliver Twist), Cathy Sara (Downtown Abbey), and George Blagden (Les Miserables.) The CD set contains 2 CDs and takes around 2 1/2 hours to complete. It is recommended for ages 6 and up.
All John really wants is to live in peace and continue the work of his family, growing grapes. But there is much unrest in the area. The different Jewish factions are fighting against each other and the Romans are moving through Palestine. John meets Josephus and joins with his army. "A time is coming when every Jew who can bear arms will be needed in the service if his country." After being one of the only people to survive the siege at Jotapata, he returns home with Jonas, who saved his life. A short time later John comes up with a plan to "harass" the Roman army. He becomes almost a legend throughout the region but not many people know he is "the" John. When the Romans prepare to march on Jerusalem, John leads his band there because, " The first duty of any Jew is to protect the temple." He comes face to face with Titus, son of General Vespasian, and does his best to do his duty For the Temple.
In addition to the CDs, we received a 51 page downloadable study guide. The study guide includes three main sections for each track on the disc:
Listening Well contains comprehension questions children can answer aloud or record in a notebook.
Thinking Further digs a little deeper. Your child may have to draw conclusions from the story, do additional research, or speculate about characters thoughts or actions.
Defining Words is a list of words that may be unfamiliar that your children can look up and write the definitions to.
The study guide also has several illustrations and sections that contain interesting information relevant to the material being discussed on the CD such as: Josephus, Food in Ancient Jerusalem, Gideon's Army, and Vespasian and the Flavian Ampitheatre. It also includes a list of books on more of the Destruction of Jerusalem for older readers, 3 Bible Studies, and a Background to our Story section.
We love to listen to Audiobooks in my house, and we all especially like the Audio Dramas from Heirloom Audio! What is the difference? An audiobook tells a story and may have some sound effects to enhance it, but the Audio Dramas make you feel as though you are actually a part of what is going on. It's like being at a movie but you are watching it through your mind not a screen. Heirloom Audio always has an amazing cast. I especially love Brian Blessed as G.A. Henty. He has an amazing voice! The sound effects and music are wonderful. It truly is a listening experience.
I listened to For the Temple with my 7,9,11,13, and 15 year olds. Even though we have not seen any snow here in SW Arkansas, we have had some miserably cold days that were perfect for snuggling in and listening to For the Temple. We divided the story into 2 days pausing after each track to ask the What Do You Remember questions from the Study Guide. We have been studying American History the last few years and have not really talked about this time period very much although they did know that the temple was destroyed in 70 AD and we had talked about Josephus in his role as a historian.
We were all drawn immediately into the story. One of the things that the children thought was very interesting (and funny) was when John's mother and Mary are talking about this amazing John that is leading this band and doing these things to harass the Romans and they have no idea it was him. Later Titus would've killed him if he had known he was "the" John. and so may people are surprised when they find out it is him, a young man, instead of the great warrior they imagined.
There are hard topics covered in this story. Many people die though it is not gory. The people are starving and John and his group make a decision to not share their food with them. John does share his with a mother and a child and is greatly blessed later by doing so. It's hard to see how much God's chosen people turned away from what they had been taught, so much so that God allowed the temple to be destroyed, but we need to look at the past so we can learn about it.
John spends some time recovering with a group of people that follow "The Way." This plants seeds in his heart that later on affects not only his life, but others as well. John was honorable in all he did, even though he wasn't always successful in what he set out to do and I think that is a great lesson for all of us, to always act with honor.
I recommend For the Temple and other Audio Dramas from Heirloom Audio. To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!